Hi, all! I realize I haven't written in awhile, but it's not because I've lost my Love for the open road. Rather, a very busy schedule has put most of the things I truly enjoy on the back burner. Of course, once I realized that I was causing myself more harm than good by working two jobs as well as taking classes, I had to cut back. Plus, it's vacation time again – so like any one of you, I hit the road. I'll probably get back into the second job, cutting back on the hours, but in the meantime...
This year's journey took us into Western Ohio and South-Central Kentucky.
We started our trip as we always do – early Saturday morning to get out away from the New England holiday & weekend traffic. I always feel better once I'm away from the area, since the traffic can get absurd.
Anyway – most of the ride was uneventful on the way out. We took I-80 most of the way, which is really beautiful through PA, though for part of the ride the clouds were low and we couldn't see much. As the air dried out, however, the magnificence opened up before us.
In Ohio, we took a long rest at Warther's Museum in Dover. The sheer beauty of these pieces was incredible. Approaching the building, we thought we were in the wrong place, as it is stuffed near a gas station – I reckon this wasn't an Interstate exit when the house was built ;-)
The day was getting along, and we still had a few hours drive to get to our destination – this was, roughly, an 850-mile day – so we headed out and traveled the back roads for quite awhile. State road 39 led us through Amish country, and into some small towns that were having July 4th celebrations. We got on I-70, East of Columbus (across the way, on the Eastbound lane, it appeared a pimp was being arrested - who wears a hat like that, and a fur coat in July???) and drove to our destination just West of Dayton. We pulled in close to 9pm; despite that, the sky was still fairly light. We had forgotten that the sky doesn't get dark until around 10pm in this area, which was perfectly okay with us – Summer is our season.
Sunday, which was quite hot and fairly humid, was spent driving the country roads and taking photographs with my trusty (film) SLR. We headed into Germantown, which is a really neat small town, with a unique reverse-truss covered bridge (believed to be the only one in the world, built in 1870). It took us awhile to find it, and I think the local police were starting to get interested in seeing us driving all over town, popping up in strange locations – this is one of those towns with a railroad running through a neighborhood, with roads actually paralleling the tracks. Outside of town, we found another covered bridge. As we approached, there was a sign stating the grounds were for K9 training. Since there was no evidence of dogs, people, danger, etc., we crossed over and found an old schoolhouse and an old caboose in a field. In the distance was some old cars, but, despite the lack of warnings about trespassing, I held back my curiosity and didn't proceed further.
Later in the week, we headed into Dayton to the Air Force Museum, which was incredible. We didn't even see everything they had to offer. Bonus – no admission or parking fee. How they managed to get a B-52 in there, I don't know, but the displays are definitely worth the trip.
Moderator Edit: The following links were suggested by Lindsey Weiss as more resources for anyone interested in military aircraft:
Military Factory: Military and Civilian Aircraft of the World
Aircraft Picture Gallery
British Columbia’s Aviation History
We had to head out to find something to eat, so we went into Dayton, which seemed abandoned. There was a festival going on, CityFolk, but not too many people were there, hunger was setting in, and we thought we'd have better luck finding something to eat in one of the historic districts (listed as having great restaurants), but everything was closed up, so we headed out of town and found a place to eat – nothing special, BTW. I wasn't overly impressed with Dayton. The lack of people was probably due to the holiday (July 4), or possibly the tornado warning, and it is easy enough to navigate, but there was just something about it. I'll give kudos to the publishers of the tourism guide we picked up at the rest area on I-70, though.
Every year we try to catch fireworks in interesting locations – we still have great memories of catching them in Cheyenne, WY, on a whim in 1997 – and this year was no exception. We had a list of surrounding communities that had fireworks. That list did not have much information, but in this very flat land, finding the hot activities at night is as easy as looking for lights in the distance. The plan was to go the next day, but a short walk up the street from where we were staying brought us to an overpass (of course, over I-70) near a corn field, and in the distance fireworks were lighting up the sky...and fireflies were lighting up the corn field. So, we had a fireworks show in the sky over the highway and fireflies dancing in the foreground, and except for a few moments, we had this view all to ourselves.
By the middle of the week, the heat had let off and the temperature was very comfortable. We took a bike ride on a nearby rail trail. The Dayton area has miles of these, due to the rail lines that pass(ed) by, and from what we saw, they are in very good condition.
Towards the end of the week, we headed to the Cox Arboretum, which is a nice hike through the woods in the city. We witnessed first hand the graceful motions of a turtle – cartwheeling of a rock into a pond! I wish I had a video of that, proof that nature has a sense of humor.
That's an overview of the first week. We planned to leave on Friday for our next stop in Corbin, KY. The idea was that leaving while people were still at work would make it easier regarding traffic, since part of the trip was to be on I-75 and the rest on other highways and byways.
The first week was a great time, very relaxing and full of interesting scenery, good food and wine, and a lot of laughs. Hopefully it would continue into the next week...